Nasoendoscopic, videofluoroscopic and acoustic study of plain and emphatic coronals in Jordanian Arabic

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In this chapter we present and discuss analyses of instrumental data from nine speakers of Jordanian Arabic. They show that the main articulatory and acoustic differences between plain and emphatic coronal consonants involve changes in the relative volumes and resonance frequencies of the buccal and pharyngeal chambers brought about by adjustments to the position of the tongue body, tongue root, hyoid bone, epiglottis, aryepiglottic folds and the larynx. Formant shifts in adjacent vowels show that F1 is raised and F2 lowered in the presence of an emphatic coronal compared to plain coronals, consistent with the constriction in the mid region of the oropharynx observable on our videofluoroscopic images and with the retraction of the epiglottis revealed by nasoendoscopy. We conclude that the articulatory configuration associated with emphatic coronals is pharyngealisation, but that it becomes uvularisation in the context of the high back /uː/ vowel through coarticulation.


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